I got the date for my PIP assessment.

I got the date for my PIP assessment, today Wednesday the 14th of August.

If this had kicked off last year, I would have said, “That’s my Summer holiday thoroughly ruined”, but there is some stubborn-ness in me that refuses to give anyone that satisfaction. Just because I have to do this now, when we are supposed to be outside and tanning ourselves, having barbeques and swimming in the lake, does not mean I will descend into a worry fest. Why should I? I plan to have a great life, and that includes now, because what else matters, really, in the final analysis?

There is a great deal said these days about those who feel hard done by. And yes, for swathes of our poor, vulnerable and lonely citizens the system is really not working very well, it is stretched to breaking, and broken, in many places, badly patched. For many, many people the daily grind goes no-where near addressing their basic needs; and, since destitution is not something I shall have to face any time soon, I’m grateful, and intend to make the most of all my chances, today, tomorrow and every day.

But… – why is there always a but? – the rules in this particular system appear to be arbitrary, made up with no end in view except to further curtail the ability of those with mixed abilities, to participate. There is no real logic behind the “twenty metre rule” or the broad definition of “to mobilize”. I am informed by ATOS that someone is coming to my apartment today to see “how my disability affects me” – but really, that’s not it. They are coming to see how far I fall within parameters that they work to, and whether they think I am justified in getting additional help with my needs: all surprisingly subjective.

And that is particularly hard to explain when I find it hard to understand, when I am prone to saying, “I’m fine thanks!” even when I’m in a lot of pain and covered in mud; and when it pains me – with an almost physical ache – to enumerate the ways in which I find it difficult to do what I want to do. The gap between what I aspire to, and what I can reasonably manage is increasingly obvious, and makes me, on my bad days, want to – to end – this crux of compromising.

None of which is self pity. But there are shards of despair in there that I dare not look at too closely.

Thanks for reading.

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